So, as we discussed, I (Hannah) spent the first part of spring break basically in the most enjoyable nap-coma of my life. I also read The Hunger Games, and I now feel like I can belong to society again because I know what everyone is talking about all the time. I haven’t read books 2 and 3 yet, so DON’T RUIN IT. Shhhhhh.
I also went to the Texas Hill Country with the Weatherman! I dunno if your state has something called “the hill country.” In Texas, it is necessary for us to have this place, so that the people in the northeast corner of the state can be reminded from time to time that elevation can in fact change. Also that there is a place in the state where things are green and not dead.
We played some golf and went to some wineries. That means we also drank wine. We marveled at the bluebonnets. And! We ate the best breakfast of our lives which included Texas Toast as large as the Weatherman’s face (not that his face is excessively large (just the toast was big (you know what I mean))) and perfectly runny eggs. And GRAVY.
Whoa. Somebody needs to reign me in. Gettin’ a little cray cray, eating gravy and everything.
Also gettin’ a little cray cray with the brownies. I put….cinnamon sugar on top of them before I baked them. Yeah. So, I created this new thing. Snickerdoodle Brownies. I didn’t Google it yet, I’m sure someone else has already created it, but I’m going to pretend that’s not the case. I want everyone to remember me as the girl who invented Snickerdoodle Brownies.
Because they are pretty dang yummy. You know cinnamon and chocolate is good. Don’t even play. And in my mind, cinnamon sugar is cinnamon in its highest form. Cinnamon toast? Cinnamon Toast CRUNCH? The inspiration for these brownies, snickerdoodles? Yes. Exactly. You see what I mean.
I used one of my favorite brownie recipes to play around with, the Cook’s Illustrated Brownie Mix knock-off. So chewy and not too rich, so it can take on your crazy add-ins. Then I just…sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top. This isn’t rocket science people. Just the science of deliciousness.
Makes one 13×9-inch pan, about 24 brownies
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 cup + 2 TBS boiling water
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 TBS (= 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup + 2 TBS vegetable oil (this is where the chewy factor comes from)
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips)
3 TBS granulated sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 350F with a rack in the middle position. Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil, leaving some overhang. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, and boiling water until completely combined and melted. Thoroughly whisk in the vegetable oil and melted butter, then whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until completely smooth. Whisk in the 2 1/2 cups sugar and salt. With a rubber spatula, gently stir in the flour until incorporated. Stir in the chopped bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the top of the brownies. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a few moist crumbs come out on a tester inserted into the center. Don’t overbake!
4. Cool the brownies in the pan on a wire rack for about 1 1/2 hours, then remove from the pan using the foil overhang and let them cool completely on the rack. (If you’re using a glass pan, cool the brownies in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack using the foil overhang.) Either way, let the brownies cool completely before slicing them! I usually find it’s even easier to slice brownies if they’ve spent some time in the refrigerator. Brownies will keep, tightly covered, for 3 days.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March 2010 issue
Hope you enjoy this combo as much as we did! If you’re hesitant, make a half batch and give it a try…I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Thanks for reading, happy baking! (And happy Hunger Games…)